A study led by the Hunting Resources Research Institute demonstrates the effects that a new variant of the rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is having on wild rabbits on the Iberian Peninsula. The virus threatens the survival of its predator, the Iberian lynx. Scientists have identified a new variant of RHDV throughout the entire Iberian Peninsula, including the areas where the Iberian lynx lives, such as the Sierra Morena mountains. A study published in the December 2014 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases addresses the problem of this new outbreak of the virus for wild populations, which has caused a high number of mortalities on farms. The studfy is titled, “Ecosystem Effects of Variant Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, Iberian Peninsula." "Very little is still known about this new variant, so it is difficult to say whether it is more serious than the previous one. Nevertheless, a significant difference is that it affects very young individuals, ten or eleven days old, which was not happening before," declares Dr. Delibes-Mateos, co-author of the study by the Hunting Resources Research Institute (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM) to SINC. Dr. Delibes-Mateos currently works for the Centre for Research into Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (University of Porto) (http://cibio.up.pt/) and the Institute for Advanced Social Sciences (CSIC) (http://www.iesa.csic.es/iesa/index/lng/en), both in Portugal.This new outbreak of RHDV could harm the rounding up of young individuals and put their dynamics at risk.
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